Sunday, September 14, 2008

Haverhill Leatherlips IPA, Haverhill Brewery

Let's take a quick exploration into the hoppy-side of the beer world. Our next beer comes from the Haverhill Brewery in Haverhill, Massachusetts - Leatherlips IPA. First, a note on the brewery which is referred to as "The Tap Room". If you in New England and looking for great brewpubs to explore - give this one a chance. We didn't explore the town too much - it's a small post-industrial town on the Merrimac River, the Tap Room has a very nice deck that overlooks the river and the train bridge. It is a great place to relax with friends and try their many beers on their rotating taps. By the way, the building the tap room is in is an old shoe factory - their taps are actual antique wooden shoe forms from the buildings history. Americana and beer drinking, ahhh.

The beer pours a bright amber color. It has 50 IBUs, which is International Bittering Units (a common measurement which we will explore more in depth when we crack the books on beer). So we expect a bitter beer - which I admit I am partial to.

The smell isn't overwhelmingly hoppy. I remember having the beer at the brewpub and the smell was a lot more aromatic when it is drawn from the tap. I can gather a slight citrus smell with the hop.

Leatherlips uses a combination of Centennial and Chinook hops. The taste is hoppy and bright. It is bitter but not overwhelmingly powerful. It comes with a clean, dry finish. I tend to think of IPAs as one of two flavors - Flowery or Coppery. Some have this very flowery, fresh taste and some with a more copper feel in the mouth - not unpleasant, probably not the best description. Soon we will delve into what these tastes are and how it is effected by the kinds of hops used.

The aftertaste is dry - leaving you wanting more. Not a bad thing, except I only brought one bottle with me and haven't found that they export to the West Coast at all. My palate seems to reset fairly quickly, but a nice slight bitterness remains in the back of the mouth.

If you happen to stumble across this gem of a brewery, then find your way towards Portland, OR - let me know! They bottle just a few of their beers, but if your quick, we can share a growler!


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